County Commission Agrees to Hold Special November Election on Use Tax

Aug 25, 2017

The Boone County Commission opted Thursday to put a local use tax measure to a public vote on Nov. 7.

The tax would apply to items bought out of state totaling $2,000 or more in a calendar year.

Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill, Southern District Commissioner Fred Parry and Northern District Commissioner Janet Thompson all voted in favor of the measure.

The commission’s action followed a 6-1 vote by the Columbia Council on Monday to put a city use tax on the ballot. Columbia residents will cast votes on both questions.

The taxes, if approved, would be the equivalent existing local sales tax rates of 2 percent in the city and 1.75 percent in the county. If both measures are approved, Columbia residents would pay a total of 3.75 percent.

That means a Columbia resident who buys $2,000 worth of merchandise for local use out of state would pay an additional $75 in taxes.

It would apply to internet purchases only if the federal government authorizes online sales taxes in the future.

Thompson said the use tax would “level the playing field” between Missouri vendors and those outside the state.

Revenue from the use tax, if passed, could potentially go toward road and bridge maintenance and repairs, Thompson said.

The county expects its use tax would generate about $917,000 a year.

“We haven’t made that determination. We’ve talked about it, and road and bridges keeps coming up.”

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford : swaffords@missouri.edu, 884-5366.